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Introduction to Vault Doors

Do you know the difference between an armory vault door and a security vault door?

Armory vault doors and security vault doors are both manufactured according to Federal Specification AA-D-600D, Door, Vault, Security.  The difference between the two doors is that armory vault doors are used to protect arms, ammunition, and explosives (AA&E).  They are fitted with mechanical locks meeting with Federal Specification FF-L-2937, Combination Lock, Mechanical.  Armory vault doors manufactured after 1990 have an approval label that is silver with red letters and states that it is a "GSA Approved Armory Vault Door".  Armory vault doors are NOT authorized for the protection of classified information.

Security vault doors are used to protect National Security Information (NSI) aka classified information.  They are equipped with electromechnical locks meeting Federal Specification FF-L-2740B, Locks, Combination, Electromechanical.  The security vault door approval label reads "GSA Approved Security Vault Door."  For security vault doors manufactured after 1990, this label is also silver with red letters.

Per ISOO Notice 2022-03, the phase-out of all black label vault doors has been extended until 1 October 2035.  Federal agencies and contractors with black label vault doors must formulate a risk-based, cost effective plan to replace this security equipment within the new allocated time. 

The AA-D-600D specification covers vault doors that are designed to conform to the minimum standards for physical security equipment as required by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) Directive governing the safeguarding of national security information.  The doors provide protection against unauthorized entry for the periods of time specified.  GSA-approved vault doors are not insulated.

At present, there are numerous GSA approved Class 5 security vault doors being used for the protection of AA&E.  If a failure occurs with an X-07, X-08 or X-09 lock on these doors, we strongly recommend that these locks be changed out to the FF-L-2937 mechanical combination lock.  When that change is made it must be noted on the Optional Form 89 (Maintenance Record for Security Containers/Vault Doors).  A security vault door equipped with a FF-L-2937 mechanical lock is NOT authorized for the protection of classified information.


When the security integrity of a GSA-approved vault door is in question, including every case where the external GSA approval label is missing, an inspection by a trained inspector can determine whether the security integrity is intact or, if it is not, whether it can be restored.  A vault door must be repaired in accordance with FED-STD-809E.  Only a GSA authorized inspector is qualified to inspect and approve a vault door to be used for the storage of classified materials or AA&E.  See our GSA Security Equipment Inspection page for more information. 

Per ISOO Notice 2021-01, black label vault doors cannot be recertified or relabeled.  GSA-approved vault doors manufactured before 1990 are identified by their GSA label that has black lettering on a silver background (or silver on black), commonly referred to as black label vault doors. 

5-A Armory FF-L-2937 AA-D-600D [2] Yes 10 minutes forced entry
30 minutes covert entry
5-B Ballistic FF-L-2740B AA-D-600D [2] Yes 10 minutes forced entry
30 minutes covert entry
20 hours surreptitious [3]
ballistic resistant
5-V Security FF-L-2740B AA-D-600D [2] Yes 10 minutes forced entry
30 minutes covert entry
20 hours surreptitious [3]
6 all FF-L-2740 [4] AA-D-600C
No No forced entry requirement
30 minutes covert entry
20 hours surreptitious [3]
8 all FF-L-2740 [4] AA-D-2757
No 15 minutes forced entry
30 minutes covert entry
20 hours surreptitious [3]
  [1] Protection as listed in newest or current version of the specification.
  [2] The AA-D-600D specification has one current amendment: Amendment 4
  [3] "Surreptitious" in products made before 10/1/90 included "covert".
  [4] The federal specifications called for a FF-L-2740 lock, however, in practice most Class 6 & 8 vault doors had a Group1 or Group1R lock.

Side 1


Side 2


The DoD Lock Program provides "Open/Secured" two-sided magnetic signs to the DoD community free of charge.  It is good practice to use these signs on containers or vault doors in order to provide a visual status of the equipment to personnel working in the area.  These signs will include the Technical Support Hotline contact information for quick reference in getting support for your security equipment.  To place your order click here or click on a magnet image.

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